RIM co-chief Jim Balsillie has struck back at comments made by Steve Jobs on Monday in which he said that Apple had already overtaken RIM in the mobile arena and that 7-inch tablets are insufficient.
Balsillie responded to the comments on the official BlackBerry blog saying that:
"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7-inch tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience."
The co-CEO also countered Jobs's assertion that Apple had overtaken RIM by noting that the sales comparison wasn't like-for-like.
"RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 - 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders."
Jobs, who was unusually participating in a third-quarter earnings calls, said he "couldn't help dropping by for [Apple's] first $20bn quarter" and then proceeded to denounce the company's biggest rivals, RIM —which is developing the QNX platform for its tablet devices— and Android.
"We've now passed RIM, and I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future," Jobs said. "They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it's going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for a third software platform, after iOS and Android."
Jobs also said that 7-inches was too small for developers to "make great tablet apps" and that it was too large for a smartphone and too small for a tablet.
RIM has taken issue with comments made by the Apple executive in the past too.
In July, Jobs took to the stage at a hastily convened press conference to address the signal problems plaguing the freshly released iPhone 4. During the presentation he singled out competitors — including RIM— that were also battling with similar issues, saying that "it's a challenge to the entire industry", which RIM described as "unacceptable" and "deliberate attempts to distort the public's understanding of an antenna design issue," in a blog post.